December 30, 2013

Bangkok working trip – visit to Railway Market & Floating Market

In my younger days, I fell in love with images of boats carrying colourful fruits, flowers and vegetables in floating markets in Thailand.  I thought these are common sights in Bangkok so I was suitably disappointed when there was none to be seen in the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok.  Only later I found out that these pretty sights are found outside of Bangkok.

After my visit to Ayutthaya, I made a trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market the following day.  As it is not easy to get to the floating market by public transport, I opted to follow a tour, which first took us to see the Maeklong Railway Market.  The market seems like any typical wet market in Thailand selling local produce but what’s unique is that the train runs through the market several times a day.

Some big shot was making a market visit on that day 

Within minutes before the train arrives, the vendors retract their awnings, and move their goods away from the track.  All the carts are equipped with wheels so that they can be pushed away from the track easily.

Tourists all ready with their smart phones, tablets and cameras waiting for the arrival of the train

Here comes the train 

For some goods displayed on the ground, the vendors don’t even bother moving them, as the train will just move swiftly above their goods.

Once the train’s gone, the vendors raise their awnings and push back the stalls to the original position.  And business is back to normal, all within five minutes.

We arrived at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market close to noon and even then, it was still jampacked with tourists.  Most of the things on sale are trinkets and souvenirs that can be found in tourist attractions in Bangkok.  It looks like the whole market is catered to tourists rather than an actual market for the locals. 

Massive congestion in the waterways
This is how the passenger boats are stored after the hordes of tourists left the market at about 2pm 
  We were also taken on a boat tour of the water village before leaving for Bangkok.

1 comment:

KC said...

Happy New Year!

This is an interesting post - I am like you too, all dreamy about the "floating market". Thanks for correcting that illusion. I love the way they store the boats though.

The train in the middle of the market is seriously crazy! Imagine doing it every time :S